City Connects’ Partner ReadBoston Featured

Photo by Dawkeye/Flickr

In a recent story on elementary school students’ reading achievement, “Making Sure Mass. 3rd Graders are Strong Readers,” WBUR interviewed the founder of one of City Connects’ community partners, ReadBoston.

Rick Weissbourd, who also founded WriteBoston, commented on the reading achievement gap related to poverty: while 37% of third-graders statewide read below grade level, among children from low-income families, 57% do. Weissbourd noted that an early difference in experience with spoken language may be related to the gap; children growing up in low-income families may come to school not knowing as many words as their peers growing up in more affluent families.

Reporter Sacha Pfeiffer dug deep into the issue, asking what factors in the lives of low-income families may be affecting the difference in spoken language experience. Weissbourd’s answer reinforces a core belief of the City Connects mission: poverty creates stress. An example is the pressure of working more than one job, which limits time for conversation with children. Weissbourd also cited the low-level depression that can accompany life under the pressure of poverty.

Like ReadBoston, the City Connects intervention aims to provide supports to students and families that can help address the out-of-school factors impacting achievement. Watch our blog in the days ahead for a description of City Connects’ successful partnership with ReadBoston at one of our schools.

For more information:

Survey Shows Adults Blame Parents for Public School Problems

According to a poll conducted by the Associated Press and Stanford University, adults think that parents and state education officials deserve the bulk of the blame for problems facing America’s public schools. When asked who deserved “a great deal” or “a lot” of the blame for public education problems, respondents answered as follows:

  1. Parents, 68%
  2. State Education Officials, 65%
  3. Federal Education Officials, 59%
  4. Local School Administrators, 53%
  5. Students Themselves, 46%
  6. Teachers Unions, 45%
  7. Teachers, 35%

The poll was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information:

  • Read the Associated Press story on the poll and a description of how the poll was conducted